Middle east role play
Refercences and resources about the Middle east role play
Background information about role play simulations
The idea behind using role plays as pedagogical tools is that experience is the best teacher. If access to such experience in real-time is impossible, an artificial environment may be, if not ideal, at least sufficient.
The most important advantage of role play is that it provides a SAFE environment for experiential learning.
Why use role play?
Online Role-Play - Designers' Guide
The idea behind using role plays as pedagogical tools is that experience is the best teacher. If access to such experience in real-time is impossible, an artificial environment may be, if not ideal, at least sufficient. The most important advantage of role play is that it provides a SAFE environment for experiential learning.
In this article we describe how the Internet and the World Wide Web have been used to add a new dimension to the teaching of Middle East Politics. Students carry out extended role-play simulations, via the mechanisms of email and chat-rooms, to conduct Middle East diplomacy. In the process, they learn about both the specifics of Middle East politics and international relations in general. Student evaluation of the simulation has indicated that they provide an effective learning environment, providing both motivation to study and "hands-on experience" in the practice of international relations.
Vincent, A. and Shepherd, J. (1998), Experiences in Teaching Middle East Politics via Internet-based Role-Play Simulations. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 1998 (11)
Citations and other versions of this paper
Interview with the author Andrew Vincent, with footage from the Middle East Politics role-play simulation and student interviews, as described in the articl
Suitability for Online Role-Play
Is this activity suitable for online role play?
The following criteria attempt to filter out activities that are not suitable for role play as well as an advance organizer for planning. You need to be sure that the learning objectives are achievable via role play as well as be aware of practical issues:
* The activity involves more than one learner interacting with other learners. A role play needs about 8 – 12 roles to be effective. The participation you have in mind is NOT "acting" out as in drama or play in which part of the message is embedded in the body movement nor is it therapy. The task is mental and the demonstration of doing the task can be done via writing.
* The learners and teachers have access to the Internet. They may be geographically scattered. The learners, teachers and moderators are able to log onto the web site regularly in order to participate effectively. You may like to make a realistic guess on how often learners can log onto the Internet. You may have to devise incentives or make it clear to the learners that role play is a collaborative activity and they have a mutual obligation to participate. Otherwise, other learners may feel anxiety and frustration as they may be waiting for a response from the missing role.
* The learners and moderators are able to commit a definite amount of time. Face to face role play usually extends for only a short period of time. Whereas online role play can sustain the activity over many weeks and thus can lead to more in-depth educational experiences for the students.
* The activity involves several "stakeholders" and these stakeholders have different points of view. None of the points of view are black and white. The scenario that sets the roles in context must contain sufficient conflict to spark debate between the stakeholders. The scenario is manageable. The conflicting issues in the scenario are to some extent resolvable. You have some possible resolutions in mind in case your students are not forthcoming with their own resolutions.
* You are sure that the learners are mature enough to handle the topic and the issues that may arise from discussion of the topic in "first-person" mode.
* The activity does not contravene any privacy issues for the students or for real-world characters that may be modeled in the role play. If privacy is an issue, it may be sufficient to add a disclaimer.
* You have access to appropriate technology for hosting an online role play. Read our Platforms Checklist (PDF) for further information.
* You are sure that you have adequate time available before the first class begins to design and pilot my idea for a role play.
If you are uncertain about any of the above, you may have to rethink the learning design you have in mind or otherwise redesign the activity to better suit online role play.
Is the activity you have in mind suitable for online role play?
The learning activity
This map shows the tasks that the team delivering the course will have have to carry out before the role play simulation begins
To introduce students to the facts of Middle East politics (that is, make them familiar with the major countries, leaders, groups, movements and relationships in the region)
To give students experience with the complexities of negotiation and decision-making in "real" political systems
To improve students' skills in using computer technology and and the Internet as tools for the workplace